Things to do with Kids in LA: Venice & Abbot Kinney


After our fun-filled “Things to do with Kids in LA: DTLA” post, we’ve decided to explore another neighborhood, and let you know how to explore the Venice/ Abbot Kinney area en famille. You may think that the usual Venice routine is this: sand, sun, and some tired and sunburnt kids packed in the car when day is done. We compiled a list that will be a blast even in (gasp) cooler fall weather.

Start your day off at The Rose Café & Market right off of Main Street. This Venice staple serves delicious and filling breakfast fare, all at reasonable prices. They also have a wonderful bakery with muffins, cookies, and croissants. And trust us, you could definitely use some carbs for your next activity.

Families learn to hang loose at Learn to Surf LA.

Learn to Surf LA offers open classes for both adults and children, in group settings or as private lessons. Even better, they offer lessons past Labor Day, so you can hang ten even when school is in session. The wetsuits provided ensure warmth even into Autumn, and the experience will be an exhilarating and atypical way to bond with your kids. So go on, take a walk (or a swim) on the wild side and take a family surfing lesson!

Once you’ve ridden the waves to your hearts content, it’s time to head on over to Abbot Kinney. Everything on this activity-packed street is within walking distance, so you can park only once — but explore infinitely. We suggest heading on over to the G2 gallery to take in the latest photography exhibit. G2 houses some fascinating photography, with Barry Rowan’s “Urban Carnivores”showcasing the bobcats that live around the L.A. area. Rowan’s is just one of many exhibits showing the interesting dichotomy between nature and city that exists in our modern world; this photography is sure to incite interesting conversation between you and your children.

Fantastic Pies at Abbot Pizza Co.

You might have worked up an appetite after all that gallery gazing, so head on over to Abbot Pizza Co. for an unusual slice. The toppings are all classic combos – barbecue chicken, pepperoni, mushroom and veggie. What makes Abbot Pizza Co. different is its crust. Touted as the “home of the bagel crust pizza”, this delicious local favorite is sure to fill your kids. Don’t worry – they offer salads for health conscious eaters, and their salad pizza is particularly scrumptious.  Want fancier fare? Gjelina offers delicious and unique Italian cuisine, with options like braised pork meatballs and salt & pepper frites. With a full belly, you and your kids can take advantage of the quirky and fun shops that line the boulevard.

Venice Favorites. Clockwise, from top: Mystic Journey Bookstore, Blik Surface Graphics, Surfing Cowboys Shop, A + R

We love the fascinating and affordable Blik Surface Graphics. With customizable images and cut-outs, your teen can have the hippest wall art and your younger ones can hang up removable letters and numbers. Check out their designs, and maybe create one of your own! A + R has fun and funky furniture, and so much more. And of course, a trip to Abbot Kinney isn’t complete without stopping at Mystic Journey Bookstore. This bookstore offers Tarot Readings and Energy healings, among other mystic services. If surfing the waves is more zen to you than fortune telling, don’t forget to check out Surfing Cowboys, a mecca of California lifestyle furniture, books, and trinkets.

Schulzie’s bread pudding provides a sweet ending to a fun (and carb-filled) day.

No day out is complete without dessert, and Schultzie’s Bread Pudding in Venice is the perfect sweet ending to a jam-packed day. With over 108 flavors of the gooey, sinful stuff, Schultzie’s is an out-of-the-ordinary sweet tooth satisfier. Enjoy a sophisticated lavender or sangria flavor, while your kids can get a saccharine rush with Choco & PB or S’more.

Expert Tips:

Your best bet is to walk up and down the street, and to let your kids pick which stores interest them. It will be fun to see the kind of window displays that attract them, and the art of aimless exploration has almost disappeared with the advents of Google and Yelp. Instead of typing in a destination and marching there with your head down, Venice is the perfect place for discovering something off the beaten path.

Abbot Kinney and Venice are both vibrant communities with devoted locals. These activities are just the tip of the iceberg in this fun neighborhood – another fun part of life in Venice is the monthly First Friday extravaganza. Coming up on the 7th of September, or the first Friday of every month, the shops and galleries of Abbot Kinney stay open late.  Food trucks line the sidewalks providing munchies, giving you a great place to take your teens, tweens, and their friends for some late night fun.

A walking tour of the Venice canals – great for a stroller, a dog on a leash, or a teen with an attitude.

Want to walk around those famous canals? Try out this walking tour, which provides you with scenic views of both locals and architecture.

Get out of your stomping grounds and head to an unexplored L.A. neighborhood – and keep looking to The Family Savvy for more great activity ideas!